According to the Maine Aquaculture Workforce Development Strategy, a report produced by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and the Maine Aquaculture Association, by 2022 the aquaculture workforce has the potential to include almost 1,000 employees across production and 1,600 more throughout the supply chain. This is one industry out of many in Maine that is growing and will require a workforce with varied skillsets.

The pandemic has forced us to think differently about the systems in which we operate. Hybrid schooling is stressful for many parents, but giving students an opportunity to explore new trades and ideas can help inspire creativity, support well-being and prepare the next generation of Mainers for the future workforce.

Giving kids opportunities to work on a car, explore the intertidal, teaching them to use power tools, asking them to lend a hand in the kitchen and encouraging them to explore jobs that require manual labor and technical aspects are a great way to balance the current hybrid schooling and prepare the next generation of Mainers for the jobs that will be available in our great state in the future – whether in aquaculture, marine trades, maintenance, repairing equipment or technical industries.

Let’s encourage our kids to explore their passions and work with their hands. We can help our kids chart a new course that will allow them to engage in work that they love and prepare for essential work that can support their sense of self, communities and economy.

Monique Coombs
Orr’s Island

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